It’s the holiday season, but for Penn students, the joy of nearing winter break comes with the stress of preparing for final exams.
Finals week is notorious for being a period of frantic cramming, desperate all-nighters and widespread panic.
Final exams this year will be held from Dec. 15 to Dec. 22. As these dates approach, students have various ways of coping with the stress that finals may bring.
Engineering freshman Katherine Waltman prefers to stay active to keep her mind off of exams.
“I have five final exams total... I think? Or six... shit. I’ll check,” she said. “But usually to destress, I go to yoga. I really like hot yoga or kickboxing. And then I usually go get a protein shake.”
Waltman feels that physical workouts and meditation leave her more focused.
“But I also destress by eating lots of Insomnia Cookies and drinking some form of tea,” she added. “Typically chamomile — it’s a very calming tea.”
College and Wharton freshman Monty Ngan uses food to cope with the stress of exams as well, but he values the social experience of eating with other students.
“I’m coping with finals by grabbing food around campus with friends every time we feel down. We make sure everyone is okay, try to help each other out,” he said.
He added that studying with friends allows him to see that other people are stressed as well, and he can always ask his classmates for help if there is something he doesn’t understand.
Engineering senior Mitch Fogelson finds that long walks help him destress.
“Every 15 or like 45 minutes, I’ll go outside and take a walk around the building wherever I’m studying,” he said.
Fogelson added that he makes sure not to stay up too late and conveyed the importance of getting a good night’s sleep.
But it is important to remember that final exams do not have to be a source of considerable stress. Engineering freshman Sebastian Peralta says that his stress level regarding finals is “pretty medium.”
“I guess it’s not as bad as it could be because I’m super organized,” he explained. “I jot down exactly what I need to do throughout the day, and then I do it.”
College and Wharton freshman Nicholas Strauch has figured out how to minimize his stress as well by not cramming for exams.
“Thankfully, I only have two exams,” he said. “However, I have three 15-page papers that I have to do, so that’s been the source of a lot of pressure for me because it all adds up.”
His solution is to manage his time and finish his papers early so that he has plenty of time to study for his final exams.
“My mindset is that everything can work out, and that everything’s going to work out the way it should,” he said. “Everything’s going to be okay. And that helps me find peace and get through life and deal with my stress.”